Ontbijtkoek- Dutch Breakfast CakeClick for Reviews



Pearl sugar

Woohoo! I had another recipe published on someone elses website.

Many thanks to Rene from “Swaffels” ‘Delectable indulgence’. Purveyors of ‘pearl sugar’.

Check them out at www.swaffels.com and look for the recipe page and scroll down to…..

Dutch breakfast cake….“Ontbijtkoek”


This could be translated to “first bite cake” in Dutch. But it is neither used strictly at breakfast time, nor is it a cake as most understand cake, as it is a heavy kind of dry long lasting, bready, spiced cake. But very tasty after all that…

Pearl sugar is made from normal cane sugar but comes all knobbly like little fresh water pearls and in various sizes. The picture here of pearl sugar was made in Belgium and I picked up a small container of it while we were there at the beginning of the year. Hey, don’t laugh!…I brought home salt from Paris and London!




Ontbijtkoek and speculaas sandwich


  • 2 cups of self raising flour
  • 1/2 (half) cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 (one third) cup molasses or treacle
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 tsp. each of ground cloves, cinnamon and ginger
  • 1/2 (half) tsp. grated nutmeg
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 4 tblspn pearl sugar


  1. Combine all the ingredients except pearl sugar, and mix to a smooth paste. Butter an oblong cake tin, fill with the cake mix, sprinkle with pearl sugar and bake for about one hour in a slow oven (about 150C).
  2. When cooked, allow to cool and keep in a tin or in the bread-bin for 24 hours before slicing.

This cake keeps moist when put in the bread-bin with the bread. The Dutch serve it with their tea time, buttered or on a slice of bread for breakfast….cake sandwich!

My favourite way is buttered ontbijtkoek with a speculaas biscuit on top!

A cake sandwich or a biscuit sandwich is not as strange as it sounds! It can be traced back to Victorian times, when, in 1861 Mrs Isabella Beeton, in her “Book of Household Management” wrote a recipe for a ‘Toast sandwich’. It is a very simple and economical sandwich made by putting a thin slice of toast between two thin slices of bread with a layer of butter, and adding salt and pepper to taste.

Although this sandwich is very simple, the difference of textures presented by the butter, the slices of bread and the toast can make it a surprisingly pleasant experience.

‘Mouthfeel’ is the highlight of the toast sandwich. With the diversity of textures and flavours of different kinds of bread, many variations can be made in order to “enrich the experience of the consumer”. For example, a toast sandwich can be made with:

  • Cold or hot toast
  • Melted or room-temperature butter
  • Garlic or herb toast (or bread)
  • Raisin bread with white bread toast, or vice versa

Butter can also be substituted with a little extra-virgin olive oil when using savoury variants of bread and toast.

Don’t knock it till you try it!




RONIKA. 08.07.2012

Great Site Corrie. Looking forward to more Dutch recipes. xoxo


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Bakewell TartClick for Reviews


Now I’m beginning to get a bit worried about some of the cooks that worked in hotels or Inns during the early 1800’s!

If you read my article about Apple Tarte Tatin and compare with this one you will know what I mean….

A certain Mrs Greaves was the landlady of “The White Horse Inn”, now known as “The Rutland Arms”, Rushbottom Lane (gotta love that name) in Bakewell, Derbyshire, England.

She instructed her cook to make a pudding with a jam, egg and almond meal filling, which, in one form or another, can be traced back to medieval times. However the cook stuffed up and after forgetting to mix the jam into the pudding mix, he just spread the jam ‘under’ the eggy almond filling, hoping it would mix during the baking process, which of course it didn’t , therefore creating more of a tart than of a pudding. Anyway, fortunately for Mrs Greaves, the Inns guests enjoyed it and she instructed her kitchen staff to make it that way from then on.


So today’s definition of the Bakewell tart is….”A tart consisting of a sweet shortcrust pastry shell, spread with jam and covered with frangipane”.

It is often covered with almonds or peanuts, and various kinds of jam may be used, e.g., blackcurrant, raspberry, sour cherry, strawberry and apple.

A modern variation is a cherry Bakewell tart, where the frangipane is covered with a layer of almond flavoured icing and half a glace cherry.

The name ‘bakewell’ does not, of course, refer to a baker that can ‘bake well’, but it is a corruption of the words….”bad”, or bath and “kwell”, or source, referring to the many wells that where found around that part of Derbyshire.

A true British classic, the Bakewell tart is best served slightly warm with a dollop of lightly whipped cream.

And so to the recipe…



An 1800 recipe from England making the traditional jam tart asks for…

  • ·         1 sweet shortcrust pastry
  • ·         Bench flour
  • ·         1 cup jam or curd, warmed for spreadability
  • ·         1 batch frangipane

I love how it just assumes that the cook of the house would know how to make this as there is no list of individual ingredients or measurement, and includes just the following two step instructions…..

  1. 1.       Make the sweet shortcrust pastry, roll out on floured bench, place in tart tin and blind bake.
  2. 2.       Spread pastry with jam or curd and top with the frangipane, sprinkle with slivered almonds and bake.

Hey you can’t get any easier than that……but as this is the 2000’s and we all need TV celebrity chefs to show us how to boil water, let’s break the recipe down….



  • 225g plain flour
  • 2 tblspn caster sugar
  • 120g cold butter
  • 1 medium egg, beaten


  1. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the sugar and a pinch of salt. Using a vegetable grater, grate in the butter, then rub together until it is coarse crumbs.
  2. Mix the egg with 2 tsp cold water and sprinkle over the mixture. Mix together into a soft dough (but not sticky), adding a little water or milk (if required) very gradually. Shape into a ball, and then cover with cling-film and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before rolling out.
  3. Sprinkle bench with flour and roll pastry to 5mm thickness, place into pastry tin (spring form is the best) and return to fridge to chill again. Give it up to an hour.
  4. Place a piece of baking paper and ceramic baking beans or rice on top of pastry and “blind bake” in a pre-heated oven at 200oC for 15-20 mins. Remove paper and baking beans; quickly brush pastry, including sides and return to oven for another 5 mins or till a lovely golden brown.



  • 225g butter, room temp not straight out of the fridge
  • 225g sugar
  • 225g almond meal (ground almonds)
  • 3 eggs room temperature
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 50g plain flour


  1. Beat butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
  2. Add almond meal then add one egg at a time mixing well each time. Don’t worry if it looks like it has curdled or spit…Just add a little of the flour.
  3. Fold through lemon zest and any remaining flour.



  1. Spread your chosen 1 cup of jam or fruit ‘curd’ across the baked pastry case, leaving a 2cm gap from the edge.
  2. Spread the almond mixture over the jam, sprinkle with some flaked or slivered almonds (optional) and bake at 180oC for around 20 mins or until set and a nice golden brown.
  3. Allow to cool in the tin before attempting to remove.
  4. Cut into wedges and serve with cream.


Many thanks to my English Friend now married with bub and living in the land of Oz for her kind donation of a beautiful Bakewell Tart using morello cherries for the filling. I get all the glory for the pictures and the pleasure of eating it!





I’ve only made this once but I really enjoyed it! And as you say, it’s quite simple indeed 🙂

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My LibraryClick for Reviews

No more books in boxes!


Well after waiting for a few years during our renovations, we finally have our new library. Tall, Dark and Handsome!

It is filling the space left by the removal of the old kitchen, and now, along with various other genre, houses very appropriately 399 cookbooks.


Seeing as this is an odd number, I think I should buy another one to round it off to a neat 400. Don’t you?!


Five meters long and 2.6 metres tall.


The First Shelf

The first shelf includes books from, but not limited to, well known Chefs like, Neil Perry, Stephanie Alexander, Christine Manfield, Matt Moran, Manu Feildel, Richard Till a TV Chef from NZ, Pete Gawron a Chef from the central Otago heartland in a town called Arrowtown in NZ and a few from Elizabeth David.


Shelf number one.


Second and Third Shelves

The second and third shelves contain books by Rick Stein, Gary Rhodes, Tobie Puttock, Jamie Oliver, Steve Manfredi, Gary Mehigan, Gordon Ramsay, Gennaro and Ken Hom and some that I picked up in Singapore, Austrian, Paris and New York. There is even one from Jenny Craig, a weight loss program. As if that is ever going to work for me!!!


Shelves numbered two and three


Fourth Shelf

Shelf number four is only half full, because it contains a very special book, sitting proudly on a book stand, that I will show last….. There are books called “The Silver Spoon” which is a well known Italian recipe “bible” translated into English, a large fun book called “I know how to cook”, two beautiful books all about just Salts, (just quietly, I have 13 different salts in my Pantry!), a book from my visit to Venice, and the very well known “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by the illustrious Mrs Julia Child.


Shelf number Four


Fifth and Bottom Shelf

The last two shelves include Chef Kylie Kong’s beautiful book “My China”, George Calombaris book from his restaurant “the Helenic Republic” in Melbourne that we went to for our 21st wedding anniversary, Greek cook books, Asian, Indian, Mexican, Vietnamese, Moroccan, Cambodian, Aussie BBQ…the list goes on and on!


Cookbook Heaven!


Last but not least….

We now come to the book that is the last but definitely not the least…. It is called “Cooking with Master Chefs” and is personally signed by Julia Child herself!!! It sits proudly on a book stand wrapped in plastic and I only look through it with super clean hands. It was a prezzie from my Hubbie. What a man!


*****applause please****

In Paris…


While in school for a couple of weeks at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, I would walk past the picture of Julia Child hanging on the wall of the stair well. Everyone would stop, look at the picture and say “Hello Julia” with a smile on their face as they went on their way to class. Not being one to break with tradition, I did it too.




“Hello Julia”



Never too young


I have been collecting all styles of books for as long as I can remember. My Parents also have a fabulous library. I think a library really makes a house a home. I apologise to all the friends and family that have helped us move and carry all those boxes of books, but now our home has a very welcoming feeling.

And now I sign off with a picture of my friends 5 month old baby sitting on my lap whilst I read to her how to make “Harissa”  …. Never too young to learn! J



No licking the pages please. xoxo





EVA. 30.07.2012

Wow, that is quite an impressive collection!



Amazing. It’s my dream to have a room like this! Beautiful home.


DOM from ‘belleau kitchen’. 24.07.2012

Oh my word I am soooo jealous of your library. This is my dream home!… In fact, I’m thinking of moving in… Where do you live? Thanks for taking part x


EVA. 21.05.2012

Nice library Oma. Woohoo I’m famous xxxxxxx


EMMA P. 21.05.2012

*Wolf whistle* what a sexy library ……mmmm food. I could look at food for hours. Oh and what a gorgeous baby J X


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Apple Tarte Tatin: French Apple TartClick for Reviews


Tarte Tatin is basically an upside-down tart, which traditionally is made with apples that are caramelised in butter and sugar before the top is put on and baked.

There are a few fanciful stories as to how this tart received its name, however while in Paris at my cooking classes in Le Cordon Bleu, (brag brag), chef told the best one so far….

Hotel Tatin was run by two sisters, Stephanie and Caroline Tatin. They lived in the town of Lamotte-Beuvron, France, about 160 km south of Paris, in the 1880’s.


Stephanie and Caroline Tatin

Legend has it that Caroline, the brighter of the two sisters, would deal with “front of house”, while poor sweet, but ditsy Stephanie was delegated to the kitchen. While beginning to make a traditional apple pie one day, Stephanie “forgot” to put a pie crust on the bottom of the pan before placing the apples and sugar in, covering it with pastry and putting the whole pan in the oven. After removing the “tarte” from the oven, she realised her mistake. Not wanting to waste food and at least put something on the table, she presented it “upside down” on a plate with a dollop of thick cream. The hotel guests loved the caramelised apples and crisp “base” so much, that….. Et voila!… a classic was born.


1880’s picture

The famous Parisian restaurateur Maxim, decided after hearing of this new dish, that he must have the recipe, and sent one of his cooks disguised as a gardener, to work in the hotels kitchen gardens and spy on the kitchen so as to steal the recipe. After three weeks he was discovered as a fraud and fired. However he was lucky enough to “pierce the secrets of the kitchen”, and to this day, in Maxim’s, Paris, you can order “Tarte des Demoiselles Tatin”.

Tarte Tatin was traditionally made using two apple varieties called Calville and Reine des Reinettes (King of the Pippins). Over time, other varieties have been used and here in Australia the best ones to choose from are Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Jonathan or Gala apples. Basically any apple, except the floury varieties, that can hold their shape in the pan and not break down and dissolve into apple sauce.

Tarte Tatin is also made using pears, pineapple, peaches, plums, etc, and even tomatoes or beetroot, but my favourite variation is made with leeks, onion, or the French purple shallot topped with little pieces of salty goats’ cheese to balance out the sweetness of the leeks, and garnished with thyme or tarragon for extra fragrance.


Hotel Tatin is still open today


And so to the recipe…..



  • 6-7 apples, peeled, quartered and cored
  • 200 g white sugar
  • 75 g butter
  • A sheet of readymade puff pastry to cover;


Or you can make a short crust pastry using the flowing ingredients. (See notes.)

  • 225 g plain flour
  • 2 tbspn caster sugar
  • 120 g cold butter
  • 1 medium egg, beaten


Granny smiths



  1. Pre-heat oven to 200C.
  2. Put sugar and butter into a heavy-based oven-proof pan.
  3. Cook on medium heat for a few minutes until it starts to caramelise.



    4. Place apples round side down on top of the caramel.


    5. Continue to cook on medium to low heat until the apples are starting to be surrounded by the caramel and are becoming soft.



 6. Cover the tarte with pastry, (see notes on pastry type used), tucking edges down around the apples….watch your fingers as caramel is VERY HOT! Bake for about 30 mins until pastry is golden and remove from oven.

         7. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 mins.


The caramel will be very hot and continue to simmer for a few mins.


8. After resting the tarte for 5 mins, place a serving plate slightly larger than the pan, upside-down onto the pastry. Using gloves or towels quickly but carefully invert and allow pan to stay on top for a minute or two just to allow the caramel to release from the bottom of the pan.



9. Carefully remove pan using gloves or towel.



Tarte Tain is best served warm, with a dollop of cream, creme fraiche, or real vanilla ice cream.



If making pastry, using the ingredients list above, sift the flour and add sugar and a pinch of salt.

  • Rub butter into flour with fingers until it resembles coarse bread crumbs.

Mix the egg with 2 tspn cold water, pour over flour and butter and mix together to form a soft but not sticky dough, adding gradually a little more water if needed.

Shape into a ball, cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 20 mins before rolling out.


  • The apples cooked in caramel can be made hours before so that you only need place the pastry on top and cook tarte in oven just before needed, removing the pan in front of your guests and getting that “OOOHH WOW” we all like so much.



GAYNORB. 20.08.2013

Hi Corrie,
I’ve been looking for a good tatin recipe and I think I’ve found it!

MAUREEN. 22.06.2012

I love tarte tatin. I can only make it when we have guests because I can’t leave it alone until it’s gone. 🙂


This is one of my favourite desserts when the sweetness of the apple is done just right. I didn’t know about Maxim though-sneaky!


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Sugo All’arrabbiata… “Arrabbiata Sauce”.Click for Reviews


Arrabbiato means “angry” in Italian. The name of the sauce is taken from the heat of the chillies.

Main ingredients are tomatoes, red chilli, garlic, olive oil. Either fresh or dried chillies can be used.

Basil may be added but is not a necessary part of the dish. Usually served over pasta (traditionally penne) and again it may or may not be garnished with parsley and/or parmesan on top.



  • 6 red birds eye chillies
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tspn sea salt
  • 5 tblspn extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 jar passata (see note)


In a mortar and pestle, grind sea salt chillies and garlic for a few minutes into a nice smooth paste.






Heat oil in pan and gently fry off the garlic and chilli paste. (Bet you’ll have a coughing fit!)


Don’t worry about the amount of oil as it will all be incorporated in the sauce helping it thicken and shine.


After the chillies and garlic no longer smell “raw”, add the jar of passata and keep cooking until the oil is gone…about 5 mins. Don’t overcook as you still want it to taste and look fresh and not darken too much.


Watch out…it spits!


Stir for a few minutes….


See….the oil is all gone.

Serve over hot penne. Drizzle with a little extra olive oil if you like.


I served the sauce over a type of pasta called strozzapeti which means “priest stranglers” in Italian. They look like strips of twisted rope. I couldn’t resist using them purely because of the name!


If desired, sprinkle with parsley and parmesan cheese or Grana Padano.


Arrabbiata sauce is also nice with gnocchi, or used as the base for other dishes, such as, Pollo All’arrabbiata……Chicken in Arrabbiata sauce…….”Angry Chicken” anyone?



Passata is thicker than tomato juice, but thinner than tomato paste or concentrate. It has been “passed” through a sieve to remove the seeds and skin. Sold usually in 700ml bottles.

Whole canned tomatoes can be substituted in place of Passata if unavailable.

Dried ground chillies can be used in place of the fresh but you will lose the sweet fresh flavour and have just the heat. You can add a teaspoon of sugar.



Serve this with a nice Italian Sangiovese or Valpolicella.

Giodano Inzolia Sicilia has a soft fruitiness that will take some of the ‘sting’ out of the sauce.

If you can’t get your hands on those Italian bottles try a Tempranillo or a Cabernet Sauvignon that has a good balance between acidity and tannin content.





ROSA. 03.07.2012

A delicious sauce! Simple, but really refined and so tasty.



This is one of our favourite sauces as we both love the spicy element 🙂


ACHIM. 11.05.2012



NATHANAEL BAIER.  11.05.2012

I tried this and it was AWESOME don’t worry about the oil it does go away  xo


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Let’s Get Cooking!Click for Reviews


Well it is about time that I started to make use of the gazillion recipes that have been stolen, scanned, savoured, salivated over and saved on my computer.

I know the world already has enough cookbooks and blogs, but I want in on the fun too. So here goes nothing…..Welcome to my blog!

Corrie in an Apron

Proudly displaying the first prize for a recipe contest on allrecipes.com.au

 Food has always been a big deal in my personal life. I remember Dad taking us for drives on rainy nights into Sydney to have a “Harry’s cafe the wheels” pie with mushy peas or mashed potato on top, and a hot mustard that would curl the nose hairs.

Then at other times, after he had finished work late, we would go to the Chinese restaurant when it was nearly closing time and wait for all the other patrons to leave so that we could order what the family was having. None of this sweet and sour pork or chicken chow mien for us!  And we are talking very early 1970’s here where Australians palates had not been so well educated and refined as we have now. Mind you there is a great little Chinese place up the road that does the crispest, lightest battered pork with a sweet and sour sauce to die for.


One thing that has survived the test of time tho is the great Aussie Hamburger. My 16 year old, over 6 feet high, son, (whom I cannot fill at the moment) asked if he could go get hamburgers for lunch today. He meant he was going to eat both of them, so I told him to wait half an hour and I would whip one up for him. The result was one not even HIS mouth could get around!

A good 15cm’s high. That’ll fill him up.

Ok…..so this page has been a little bit of an exercise in computer skills and blogging skills and learning to down load pictures, etc….or is that upload?!?! Never mind; I hope it all comes better and easier with practice.

I am working my way methodically through the “le cordon bleu” cooks bible and ticking off all the 700 different techniques as I go. It may take a while but let’s just say I have a fridge full of chicken stock, brown beef stock, fish stock, veal stock, vegetable stock, consommé, court bouillon……

I bought the book in Paris when my Hubbie booked me into cooking classes at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school for two glorious weeks.

MUCH more about that another time.

Me in my Chefs hat.

To view the recipe I submitted to an on-line competition and won my bright orange apron and bag, click here…. http://allrecipes.com.au/recipe/10987/cornelia-s-south-african-biryani.aspx


Till next time….




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